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Ousey Mann – Is Anybody Listening

Ousey Mann
Is Anybody Listening
by Gary Hernandez at 23 July 2022, 12:43 PM

OUSEY MANN is a Classic Rock project of guitarist Steve Mann and vocalist Chris Ousey. They are joined by Clive Edwards on drums and Angela Mann on bass. (Angela, btw, is also with ROSY VISTA, a hard rocking foursome along the lines of BARBE-Q-BARBIES.) OUSEY MANN had its genesis during the year of our plaque, 2020, and the band recently released of their debut full-length album, “Is Anyone Listening,” on Escape Music. It comprises 13 tracks and clocks out at just over an hour long. It is as vanilla as they come. Safe, mainstream, earnestly wholesome. It took all I had to listen to the album more than once. For metalheads, it’s like the seventh circle of hell set to music.

Let me make a few clarifications, the musicianship is excellent. No complaints there. From Chris Ousey’s clean, strong vocals to Steve Mann’s virtuoso guitar work, these are clearly talented musicians. The rhythm section is solid as well. It’s more about how these talents are put to work. So maybe blame the songwriting and the overall music style. Remember when NWOBHM was happening? And now just spin the dial a little. Remember what was playing on mainstream radio at that same time? Not the deep-cut album rock stations that featured BLACK SABBATH, JUDAS PRIEST, and IRON MAIDEN but the other ones that played borderline soft rock like ASIA, AMROSIA, EUROPE. Yeah, OUSEY MANN would fit well on that station. And that is not a bad thing, per se. Those are some seriously well to do bands, but they are a far cry from anything remotely Metal.

With that said, the things I liked about this album are the lead guitar solos and flourishes. Steve Mann can lay out some mean licks when he wants to. I just wish he wasn’t so enamored with synths, but there you have it. If you like clean vocals, you’ll love Chris Ousey. The only downside to his vocals is that he enunciates extremely well which means you can hear every word of every lyric. The problem is the lyrics are overwrought and whiny. So yeah, not interested in clearly hearing those.

In the end, the most redeeming quality of OUSEY MANN is that it led me to ROSY VISTA. If you’re into white bread Classic Rock, “Is Anyone Listening” might be your thing. Give them a listen and find out for yourself. For extreme metalists or even mainstream metalheads, the album will likely to disappoint. Approach with caution.

Songwriting: 4
Musicianship: 7
Memorability: 3
Production: 7

2 Star Rating

1.The Flag
2. And So It Begins
3. Brave New World
4. I'll Tell You When To Stop
5. Broken
6. Cruising At Altitude
7. Built For The Fight
8. The Fall
9. Is Anybody Listening
10. Before You Leap
11. I Know Who I Am With You
12. No Second Chances
13. Number One
Chris Ousey – Lead, backing vocals
Steve Mann – Guitars, keyboards
Angela Mann - Bass
Clive Edwards - Drums
Record Label: Escape Music


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